I just want to say that I used to love Barnes & Noble. I worked there briefly in 2007, but left when they couldn’t give me the salary I needed to maintain my standard of living. I’ve since gone on to become a moderately successful self-published author, publishing on PubIt! as well as the other digital ebook stores. Sales from Nook readers has never come close to rivaling what I sell on Amazon. It seems everyone has a Kindle.
I’ve never been a fan of Barnes & Noble’s website. It’s clean, but it’s plain, and while the colors are corporate, they’re not exciting on a website. I understand the feel and culture of your retail stores, and it’s one of the reasons I like them. They feel nostalgic and traditional.
As successful as many self-published authors are, many of us would love to have our books in brick and mortar stores. A lot of my readers have asked if they could find my paperbacks at Barnes & Noble, and while I can direct them to your site to purchase them online, they’re not available in any retail stores.
I think it would be worthwhile to look into the success of many self-published authors, and consider bringing our books into your stores. It’s getting to a point that independent authors don’t need agents or publishers. They make a good living doing everything themselves. The only real benefit of becoming traditionally published is having the ability to see our book on shelves in a retail environment. But – we don’t need that to be successful. We only need it to be more successful, to reach that market that refuses to accept the hard plastic case of an e-reader.
I’m not saying let all self-published books in. I know just as well as you that likely the majority of them shouldn’t see the light of day. A screening process would need to be set up, possibly looking at sales, reviews, and best seller charts among all book resellers. Maybe you’d even have a link on your website that says, “Would you like to see this in stores?” Let the public help you decide.
In this time of change in your company, I just thought I’d give my two cents. It’s just something to consider.
Lori L. Otto